What is counseling?

Counseling is essentially talk therapy, counseling, or sharing our thoughts/processes in a safe space where we are heard and not judged. The psyche (the root in the word psychotherapy) is the part of us that is consciously trying to figure out what is going on with events in our lives that are unfolding (have unfolded or we suspect will unfold in the future) and how we relate to them.

Being able to talk about the choices we make in our lives (or have made or will make) with someone who doesn’t have an agenda other than to listen, can be extremely refreshing and helpful. One of the greatest teachers I ever had the privilege to study with taught that true listening is like whispering into a well: the earth that composes the well, and the water in the well, allow every word, every breath, to resonate, to be held, and to be unconditionally bathed in compassion. Listening deeply is one of the greatest gifts we can give another. When we are not trying to fix it, not trying to judge it, and not trying to help out of our own discomfort, we give space for grace and growth.

Some problems don’t need fixing, or not in the typical way we might think. The Chinese character for crisis also means opportunity, and we often come into a state of depression or anxiety when something in our life wants to shift. We are often preparing to receive a great gift to deepen our wisdom and compassion, if we would but allow it. Change is the law of the universe, and yet, change is not exactly where most of us are comfortable. Having someone who will listen while we figure out our own truth about a situation is truly a blessing, and insights offered can help us navigate in a way that allows us to move through our lives with greater ease, freeing up our energy for everything in our life that has value.